Upskilling is a C-suite priority, with a skilled, educated and adaptable workforce topping the list, according to findings in PwC’s 24th annual CEO survey. Investments in upskilling programs can boost an organization’s competitiveness by empowering employees to leverage technologies like automation and artificial intelligence.
Once they’re well-versed in new tools, your people can use them to drive efficiencies, speed time to insights and enhance customer experiences. These benefits might account for why 76% of CEOs believe the shift to embrace automation initiatives will endure for some time and more than a third of CEOs are planning to focus on productivity through technology and automation. These kinds of big initiatives will require upskilling, and CHROs are joining the efforts to accelerate digital skill adoption with 39% of them citing upskilling and reskilling as the top priority.
Workers and job seekers alike are onboard with these trends with 77% of workers globally saying they’re ready to upskill and more than a third of job-seekers saying they’d be willing to sacrifice salary in exchange for skill-building opportunities.
Reap the benefits of an upskilling program
Implementing an upskilling program can deliver big wins, and 93% of CEOs who do so see increased productivity, an improvement in talent acquisition and retention, and a more resilient workforce. Despite these benefits, only 18% of CEOs globally have made significant progress in creating upskilling programs that address their digital skill gaps. Launching big training initiatives can feel daunting. But it doesn’t have to be.
At PwC, we’ve gathered learnings from our own upskilling journey and used them to develop ProEdge, a single platform that provides the infrastructure a company needs to deliver personalized, function-specific training that elevates skills and helps build a continuous learning culture.
ProEdge is a scalable, customizable upskilling solution that identifies skill gaps and then automatically develops learning pathways to close those gaps. Data-driven content curation and learning on demand experiences deliver value to both the individual and the enterprise. This type of learning experience can give everyone in your organization equal access to skill-building opportunities that are customized to their objectives, level of proficiency and role, which powers overall digital transformation.
Upskilling can boost company stickiness and serve the greater good
During the pandemic lockdowns, 40% of workers focused on upskilling, improving their skills in fields like data analytics and automation. But not everyone is innately digitally savvy, nor do they have the access to the in-depth content, tools and courseware needed to build in-demand skills.
Those who need digital skills the most are often the least likely to get them.
Be part of the solution. Provide upskilling opportunities that can close the digital divide from within. Not only will it help future-proof finance and your organization as a whole, it’s a complementary component of an overall talent acquisition and retention strategy. And amid the current Great Resignation, adding more perks to what you can offer employees is a smart move.
Upskilling can make people resilient in the face of whatever their career trajectory holds. You’re preparing them for future success regardless of circumstances. Even if they leave for another opportunity, they’re more likely to speak positively about their learning experience with your company among their networks. And an employee who had solid training under your leadership can still reflect well on your brand when they show off their new skills elsewhere. You’ll build a reputation of an organization that invests in their people by equipping them with future-forward skills.
Not only can these factors contribute to talent attraction and recruiting efforts, they can contribute to greater social stability. Effective upskilling initiatives have the potential to help create 5.3 million net new jobs globally by 2030, according to a new study by PwC and the World Economic Forum.
Since we know what is needed to make upskilling possible, especially when it’s good for your people, the finance function, the enterprise and society at large, let’s make it happen. It’s up to you to help your people stay relevant and be able to participate in the digital economy, whether within your organization or if they change jobs. Take the time to see where implementation of these upskilling programs may be possible today, for the work you’ll be doing tomorrow. No matter how small, the value upskilling could bring to your company is well worth the investment.